Community spirit on show at Northumberland tenant awards

Residents of Rodsley Court, who won Best Community Group (adult) at the Spirit of the Community Awards.
Residents of Rodsley Court, who won Best Community Group (adult) at the Spirit of the Community Awards.
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A Rothbury residents’ group and an Alnwick woman were among the winners as some fine examples of community spirit were recognised.

The Spirit of the Community Awards, run by Northumberland County Council, recognise council tenants who have gone out of their way to help others to enjoy life to the full.

Now in their fifth year, the awards attracted a strong field of entries which were judged by a panel made up of tenants and housing officers.

Margaret Walker, from Alnwick, was one of two Good Neighbours of the Year and also took the overall title – Winner of Winners.

Margaret lives in Augur Place and is a pivotal figure in community life and a valuable neighbour and friend to everyone living in the sheltered-housing scheme.

She runs a twice-weekly coffee morning to raise funds, which are used to take everyone out for Christmas dinner, she looks out for and cooks for her neighbours and encourages residents to join in events and get involved.

Meanwhile, Rodsley Court Resident Group, from Rothbury, shared the Best Community Groups (Adult) prize with a group from Cramlington.

The group is a hive of activity providing regular social and fund-raising events.

It is extremely active and raise funds for charities including Amble RNLI, The Children’s Cancer Unit at the RVI and the Royal Voluntary Service.

Residents are encouraged to join in and get involved by selling tickets, donating prizes and baking cakes. Their events are open to the wider community who are regularly invited to attend.

Joan Woodburn, of Rodsley Court, said: “It has been an absolutely fantastic night and it was heartening to meet so many people who go out of their way to help others.

“We enjoy our fund-raising; it keeps us busy and it keeps us young. It helps community spirit and brings us all together.

“We never thought we’d win an award. It was totally unexpected and we are all absolutely delighted.”

A raffle was held on the evening which raised £125 for charity Tiny Lives that supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Neonatal Unit at the RVI hospital in Newcastle.